Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Birthday gifts

''And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and fell down, and worshipped Him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”

Matthew 2:11
 

Yesterday was the day of the “Three holy kings”. We find the story thereof in Matthew 2:1-12. We read much less there, than what tradition has made it out to be. They were actually not kings, but wise men or star-gazers, who came to Jesus’ birth. It also doesn’t say that there were three. This is assumed due to the three gifts that they brought with them: gold, frankincense and myrrh.

To give gifts thus has a long tradition. However, nowadays at Christmas, we don’t give gifts to Jesus, but to each other. Even those who are not Christians have adopted this tradition and so the trade at Christmas has developed into a huge commercial festival.

Are we, as Christians, permitted to partake in this? Has the meaning of Christmas not become subject to consumption, and an idol to many people?

Exactly like our birthdays, Christmas is a festival of joy. We are overjoyed that Jesus, our Saviour and Redeemer is born. And in like manner as we give gifts on birthdays, thereby bringing joy to others, we as Christians are also allowed to give and receive gifts at Christmas time. It is a token of joy!

It is however a particular token, when we, who have nearly everything, don’t just give each other gifts, but consider those who are less fortunate. It is not without reason that the Churches arrange huge fund-raisers at Christmas time. And also smaller organizations who partake in helping the needy, receive more financial contributions in this time than during any other time of the year.

What were your gifts at Christmas? Were they commercial or were they tokens of joy?

Now, in the new year, many of our friends and acquaintances will have birthdays again. Show them your joy.

(Translated by Linda Gates)

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Zur deutschen Originalversion: Geburtstagsgeschenke


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